Here's your first official look at Jake Gyllenhaal in the token 'stand and stare with angst' look as the lead in Jerry Bruckheimer's "Prince Of Persia: Sands Of Time." The film hits theaters May 28th, 2010. [EW]
Russell Crowe is reportedly in early negotiations for a sequel to his 2003 film "Master And Commander: The Far Side Of The World." Crowe noted that the sequel will be adapted from the 11th novel of the Aubrey-Maturin series which began with "Master And Commander." The first film was directed by Peter Weir and was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. [Yahoo]
Contractual disagreements between New Line Cinema and the heir of "Lord Of The Rings" author J.R.R. Tolkien's estate may put the brakes on Guillermo Del Toro's adaptation of "The Hobbit." The film rights to Tolkien's LOTR trilogy were sold in1969 by the author but his estate now argue that the studio never paid their rightful 7.5% of earnings. The studio meanwhile claim the original contract was ambiguous. Come on now...[Guardian]
A new poster for Matthew Vaughn's "Kick-Ass" drawn by the source comic's artist John Romita Jr has been unveiled just in time for Comic-Con. Vaughn revealed he will be presenting several scenes from the film at the convention. [AICN]
Scribe Matthew Michael Carnahan is set to adapt Max Brooks' "World War Z." Carnahan, whose previous efforts include "State Of Play" and "The Kingdom," will take over J. Michael Straczynski. [Fangoria]
Two new official stills of Megan Fox and Amanda Seyfried from "Jennifer's Body" have been unveiled. [BloodyDisgusting]
Nicolas Cage has revealed his ambitions to "reconceive" the "Ghost Rider" franchise rather follow up the 2007 film with a sequel. Translation: Let's disassociate ourselves with that atrocity that was the first film and try, try again. So essentially, a reboot with the same lead actor? Don't bank on this one ever happening. [MTV]
Gemma Arterton is set to team with director Stephen Frears for an adaptation of the Posy Simmond comic book series "Tamara Drewe," reportedly a modern day retelling of Thomas Hardy's "Far From The Madding Crowd." Interesting path for Frears. [FilmSchoolRejects]
An international trailer for Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor prison-rom-com "I Love You Phillip Morris" has been released. [Allocine via FirstShowing]
Jake Gyllenhaal In 'Prince Of Persia,' Russell Crowe Set For 'Master And Commander' Sequel, International 'I Love You Phillip Morris' Trailer
Here's your first official look at Jake Gyllenhaal in the token 'stand and stare with angst' look as the lead in Jerry Bruckheimer's "Prince Of Persia: Sands Of Time." The film hits theaters May 28th, 2010. [EW]
So yeah, more, "Iron Man 2" photos and your first look at Don Cheadle in the James "Rhodey" Rhodes role once held by Terrence Howard and Sam Rockwell's Justin Hammer arms dealer character.
Apparently Mickey Rourke is going to play his character a little a little wildly and flamboyantly.
"I told Favreau, 'I don't want to just play him as a one-dimensional pussy,'" Rourke told EW. "He let me have a cockatoo, who I talk to and get drunk with while I’m making my suit."
About replacing Terrence Howard, says Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said they had to play hardball. "We had to make some tough deals. When they got public, you go, 'That sucks. Okay, you want a peek behind the curtain? Here you are!'"
But Cheadle says they're not hiding the fact the character's been replaced. "Terrence and I couldn’t be more different. We address it head-on in the movie in one exchange. We're not trying to fool people."
What does that mean? Downey/Star says to Cheadle/Rhodey, "Hey, you look different this morning" and then winks at the camera? Gotta love corny fan-based in-jokes. Hopefully it's not that bad. [via OhNoTheyDidnt]
Nicholas Ray's devastating romance noir, "In A Lonely Place," with Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame screens tonight at New York's Film Forum and kicks-off an excellent Nick Ray retrospective that includes a bunch of films not available on DVD including the awesome Cinemascope triumph, "Bigger Than Life," starring a tremendously cracked out James Mason and "Johnny Guitar" with Joan Crawford and Sterling Hayden (who we all must love and adore for his multiple Stanley Kubrick film appearances alone).
Grahame was married to Nick Ray at the time of 'Lonely Place' -- a haunting film about a fleeting and disintergrating relationship; a screenwriter wrongly accused of a murder crumbles under the weight of his fragility and insecurities -- and they separated and became divorced not long after. Eight years later she then married Ray's son, Tony and allegedly the director found him in bed with him at the age of 13! Weird, right?
Dude had a crazy life and director Phillip Kaufman wanted to make a film called "Interrupted," based on his how-to-make movies book, I Was Interrupted. That project was announced in Variety in 2006 and we have no idea what happened to it (anyone? We'd love to see it come to life one day). If you live in New York, consider yourself even a quarter of a cinephile and have never seen this film, you have zero, zero excuse and should feel embarrassed if you do not attend. We hope there's not that many new screenings next week, cause we're gonna be at Film Forum 24-7 when the festival kicks off in full-swing starting July 24. Yeah, "Rebel Without A Cause," was a, blecch, game-changer and it was good and all, but Ray goes much, much deeper.
This appreciation piece is edited by Matt Zoller Seitz (dude, Wes Anderson is not god, sorry) with words and narration by Kim Morgan, adapted from a Sunset Gun post (and found over at Hollywood Elsewhere).
We already revealed to you first that Michael Cera and Charlyne Yi had written the score to their upcoming pseudo-documentary, "Paper Heart," and the fact that helping out on the soundtrack was Alden Penner (ex member of Montreal indie-rockers the Unicorns and Clues) and Zach Condon from Beirut.
And now we have the soundtrack details. As we noted previously, Alden actually produced the score and contributed two new original songs, while Condon wrote one original song ("The 11th Arrondissement ") for the film as well.
The soundtrack disc hits on August 4 and features 21 tracks. Hopefully we'll have the Weezer-like sounding song that Yi performs in the movie ("Magic Perfume"). It's so damn catchy and we can still remember every single part of it (no, really we went home and learned it on guitar afterwards, it was so infectious).
While the Playlist are the self-appointed watch dogs of everything too indie-cutsie and or twee, we're happy to report that "Paper Heart" was quite, sweet and endearing and not the obnoxious film we were worried about. Sort of like "500 Days of Summer," which turned out to be quite good too. Maybe it's just that we're ideologically opposed to "Garden State"-like films, but as long as the execution is solid and the intentions are solid, we're good (maybe we're just worried, that these types of films will somehow turn into the equivalent of this AWFUL screamo cover of the Postal Service, uhh, you've been forewarned, as in em0-like intentions gone colossally wrong).
Update: You can hear some of the score now on the "Paper Heart" myspace page.
Anyhow, we digress. "Paper Heart" is worth your time and Cera is particularly good in it (he keeps doing his thing and it still ends up with the funny). The actor who plays the director Nicholas Jasenovec, Jake M. Johnson is really personable too. The film also has a few cameos by Seth Rogen, Demetri Martin, Paul Rust and a few other well-known comedians. "Paper Heart" hits theaters on August 7.
"Paper Heart" soundtrack tracklist
01. The Beginning – Michael Cera, Michael Cassady, Alden Penner, Adam Etinson
02. Hope – Michael Cera, Charlyne Yi, Alden Penner
03. Mike Modrak – Michael Cera
04. Now They’re Really Getting to Know Each Other - Michael Cera, Alden Penner
05. Children Are Ridiculous - Michael Cera, Alden Penner
06. Symphony - Michael Cera, Charlyne Yi, Alden Penner
07. Don & Sally - Michael Cera, Mary Forrest, Jamie Wheeler, Alden Penner
08. New York City Theme - Michael Cera, Alden Penner
09. Magic Perfume – Charlyne Yi, Matt Davis
10. Charlyne vs Charlyne - Michael Cera, Jeremy Konner
11. The 11th Arrondissement – Zach Condon, Perrin Cloutier
12. Sid & Mary Beth - Michael Cera, Michael Cassady, Alden Penner
13. Moon Waltz - Michael Cera, Charlyne Yi, Alden Penner
14. Chivalrous Galloping For Thy Love - Michael Cera, Alden Penner
15. Psychic? - Michael Cera, Alden Penner
16. Lois & Sully - Michael Cera, Alden Penner, Dan Ring, Charlyne Yi
17. Learning - Michael Cera, Alden Penner
18. Flying Away - Michael Cera
19. Creepy Town - Michael Cera
20. Sprinkling – Charlyne Yi
21. Twin Dream Phoenix – Alden Penner, Aiden Jeffery, Michael Speleit, Nathan Gage, Marie-Claire Saindon, Nicholas Scribner, Ben Borden
22. Girl With The Microphone - Michael Cera, Charlyne Yi, Mary Forrest, Alden Penner
Here's Jack Black with Charlyne Yi in what appears to be an outtake from the film.
Here's a deleted scene with Bill Hader.
What was the best film at the 2009 Cannes film festival that we saw? The vampires of "Thirst"? The chattiness and occasional gun bursts of "Inglourious Basterds"? The hammering of male genitalia in "Antichrist," perhaps? Hmm, how about the wafting airs of doobage from "Taking Woodstock" or the balletic violence of Johnny To's "Vengeance"?
Nope, the best film we saw at Cannes was Jane Campion's 18th-century love story, "Bright Star" starring a truly outstanding Abbie Cornish and strong performances from Ben Whishaw, Paul Schneider and Kerry Fox (Campion's "An Angel At My Table").
The film chronicles the secret love affair between poet John Keats (Whishaw) and brassy fashion student Fanny Brawne (Cornish) and was carefully observed, wonderfully realized and full of flush emotion and honest tenors. Don't be surprised if this film comes up at Oscar time, including Best Picture. As they year stands, Cornish is still probably our number one choice for Best Actress, but obviously that could change (here's our review).
As previously reported, "Bright Star" hits September 18 and will make its North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. Don't just take our word for it, Quentin Tarantino loved it too and called Harvey Weinstein afterwards to tell him so (we were actually in the same screening that he was at). [Vulture]
Update: Robert DeNiro, Jonah Hill & Michelle Rodriguez In Talks To Appear In 'Machete' — Plus Steven Seagal & Linsday Lohan
Strange to think that a little trailer gag could launch an entire movie, but if you were to spawn a new project from the fake previews in "Grindhouse," Robert Rodriguez's "Machete," would be the one (note to Eli Roth, don't bother with "Thanksgiving," thanks).
The self-contained "story" shown in the Rodriguez/Quentin Tarantino double feature wasn't rocket science, but it set up the basics of a revenge premise that anyone could swallow. Directors promise these kinds of spin-offs all the time and they rarely happen, but surprisingly enough "Machete," starring longtime Rodriguez mainstay Danny Trejo is just a few short weeks away from starting production in Austin (free of studio interference, naturally, and before the end of July).
And casting discussions have begun to leak. Bloody Disgusting is reporting that Robert DeNiro, Jonah Hill and Michelle Rodriguez have been cast in the picture in various roles which is not entirely true. No deals are formalized yet and actors are in discussions, but you never really know with these things until the dotted line is signed. Though Hill is said to be playing a young, Cholo, lol. A few other well-known actors are in talks too (some from the "Spy Kids" movies), but there's no real point in discussing them here until something concrete happens. But it appears Rodriguez has one-upped Stallone a little bit: Steven Seagal is essentially set-up to appear in this as well (and we hear that if one of these names doesn't turn up, it's probably DeNiro).
*Update*: Lindsay Lohan involved in "Machete" too? EW talked to reps who denied all the "rumors" so far and say the film is still in development, but that's laughable, trust us. Also? We heard that Lohan news too, but couldn't discuss it, but now that the cats out of the bag... Yeah, she's also in discussions (and EW's source has also heard the Seagal news too, cue Nikkie Finke? nah...)
Casting news early can end up with yolk on your face, see the people who reported that Chris Pine, Anton Yelchin and Ryan Gosling to appear as "Green Lantern" when none of these actors even made the final four — don't forget Jared Leto got far in the casting process too. But these discussions at the very least, are not off-point.
"Machete" is being co-directed by himself and his longtime editor Ethan Maniquis. Early on it seemed as if the "Sin City" filmmaker was going to fully hand the reigns off to his collaborator, but now it seems that he's just as involved. What does that mean for projects scheduled for 2010? Don't be surprised if some of them are pushed way back.
Here's that original "Machete" trailer. According to BD, the plot of the film sees Machete (Trejo) as an blade-wielding ex-Federale who hides out as a day laborer, but is double-crossed by a corrupt state senator (De Niro). We assume a release date sometime in 2010.
After the fact update: Yes, Jonah Hill eventually dropped out of his role and it was filled by Daryl Sabara of "Spy Kids"
Radiohead already sullied themselves once for "Twilight," providing the music for the closing credits of the film -- which were oddly not advertised or note in advance in any way; Radiohead fans found out if and when they saw the movie in theaters... someone was embarrassed possibly?
And that relationship Radiohead has with Stephenie Meyer work might continue. According to an interview with Rotten Tomatoes (via P4K), "New Moon" director Chris Weitz, Radiohead's Thom York is interested in participating. Seriously Thom?
"Fortunately, I'm not at the stage where I have to turn anybody down yet, because everything is still kind of up in the air," Weitz said, "but I am surprised at some of the bands that have said they're interested. It's kind of great. The criterion will still always be what's right for the movie at that given moment, but Thom Yorke is interested; we might, if we're very lucky, get Kings of Leon to do something... it's exciting to be able to have access to this kind of talent."
Did you hear that? That's the sound of the bar being lowered. Alexandre Desplat, who scored Weitz's anti-religion Coca-Cola polar bears fantasy flick, "The Golden Compass," will be writing the score for "New Moon," as well, but its possible people like Yorke and the Kings Of Leon will provide new songs?
Unless Weitz is totally crazy, he doesn't sound like he's making things up, unlike McG who said he hoped to get Yorke to create music for "Terminator Salvation,"and obviously that never happened. Apparently reps for Radiohead wouldn't confirm anything, but those reps deny everything all the time (we know all too well, hello, nasty).
That "New Moon" trailer that came out around the MTV Movie Awards was seriously terrible. We're not sure why anyone would align themselves with these films other than a paycheck. Still, when "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" comes out November 20 we'll give it a fair shot, but we're obviously not expecting our lives to change.
The Criterion Collection has set three new DVD releases for the month of October.
Remember in the '80s when Wim Wenders could seemingly do no wrong? One of these releases is his atmospheric wandering-angel classic, "Wings Of Desire," with the great German actor Bruno Ganz (Oct 20). Criterion calls the film one of the "loveliest city symphonies" and "movie poetry," and you can't argue with that. It's a wonderful film. Let's hope this means they put out "Paris, Texas" on Criterion one day. That 1984 slow-burner deserves its own special treatment too.
Criterion seems to love the political-charged Greek filmmaker Costa-Gavras having already released, "Missing" and now they'll be releasing, "Z,"another political crime thriller that starred French singing icon, Yves Montand and the great Jean-Louis Trintignant (Oct 27). While it's an interesting picture that races along at times, we wouldn't call it masterpiece (an unpopular opinion we're sure, but it's kinda true). Still, better that more people see it than don't and many disagree with us, it won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 1970 (Regardless, if and when you see Criterion put out other minor works by directors, say Francois Truffaut's "Mississippi Mermaid," than you really know they need to start looking at more unusual suspects).
Lastly, the collection will release Mira Nair's widely well-received culture-clashing comedic melodrama, "Monsoon Wedding" from 2001. Update: there's artwork now and it hits Oct 13. Fans of Nair will be happy to hear the disc also includes her short documentaries "So Far from India" (1983), "India Cabaret" (1985), and "The Laughing Club of India" (2001), featuring video introductions by the director herself.
Other additions to Criterion's fall schedule include the release of James Ivory's "Howard's End" with Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson (her won an Oscar for this performance) on October 20 and and 18th Eclipse series three-disc collection, this time featuring the work of Yugoslavian director Dušan Makavejev.
September will also bring David Mamet's "Homocide" with Joe Mategna (Sept 8) and Alexander Korda's the Napoleonic-era affair, "That Hamilton Woman" with Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh.
Come November we'll be expecting to hear announcements of Steven Soderbergh's two-part epic, "Che" and Guillermo Del Toro's 1993 horror, "Cronos."
Friday! It's that time again and man it's finally starting to get uncomfortably hot this summer which means, if you're like us, you go to the movies more often to beat the heat, possibly catching whatever, or finding that excuse to see that smaller indie you still haven't got around to seeing, but you always meant to.
The box-office this weekend is obviously already all about and owned by "Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince." The David Yates-directed sixth installment of the teen wizards franchise has become almost a license to print money. Yesterday it sent a opening-day worldwide record grossing $104 million globally. That's all in one day starting with midnight screenings. 'Half-Blood Prince' amassed $58.4 million in the U.S. So there's still receipts to be counted for Thursday and then the rest of the weekend. Surpassing the $100 million mark in the U.S. seems extremely tenable, but DeadlineHollywood predictions of $200 million in North America seem like massive exaggeration (what else is new...)
That's it for wide-release because the studios are apparently not dumb enough to face off against that behemoth. It's all 'Potter' this weekend and there's essentially no competition. Yikes, but good for WB. Critically, the has been accepted as well and it has a very positive 84% Rotten Tomatoes rating which is generally rare for tentpole films. One of the Playlist loved it too. We're all for well-executed blockbusters and 'Half-Blood Prince,' seems to be one of those.
In Limited Release: There seems to be also one fairly obvious choice in terms of its mainstream visibilty and that would have to be Marc Webb's alleged "anti-love story" film, "500 Days of Summer" starring indie-boy dream girl Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon Levitt. We feel the 89% rating on RT is a little high, it's an above average indie romantic comedy (no matter what the filmmakers say), but it might not change your life. That said, it is endearing and what we liked about it most is how it looks at male heartache (and it is a male-centric film from a 20-something POV) as a rite of passage and how it examines coming to grips with adultlescent emotional maturity and the capacity to feel true love and pain. 20-something films ala "Garden State," can be fairly irritating and predictable: Lots of indie-rock (mainstream music for 20s-something deluding themselves into thinking what they're listening to is underground), movie music moments and generally tons of wallowing in self-pity, but we're happy to say that '500 Days of Summer' mostly avoids those trappings and its charms help us overlook any of its minor faults.
Next up is Boaz Yakin's new film. Remember him? He made a splash with his 1994 debut, "Fresh," and then.. went away? Nope he directed a few minor things including,"Remember The Titans," with Denzel Washington, but his name was overshadowed by the actor and seems to have generally gone under the radar. His latest picture is, "Death In Love," and it has a decent cast of Jacqueline Bisset, Josh Lucas and Adrien Brody. The film is called a "a provocative psychosexual tale set at the crossroads where family, history and sexuality collide." Glad nobody invited us that it! It sounds like it could use all the help it could get, because it only has a fairly mediocre 58% RT rating
Mischa Barton is not having the best week ever. She just was just hospitalized yesterday for unknown "medical issues" and making matters worse Access Hollywood made it sounds like she had cracked a gasket and been put on involuntary psychiatric watch. Making matters worse her new film, "Homecoming" 0% rating
and it's not because no critics have seen it. There at least nine reviews and all from real sources like the New York Times, Variety, the Village Voice, etc. We really think this girl should take care of herself and then stop acting because it seems fairly evident that she's terrible at it. But you know, get better.
Our number one most highly anticipated film in limited release and one we're very bummed that we weren't invited to!, is the new Shane Meadows film called, "Somers Town." It's a black and white, coming-of-age tale about two teenagers, both newcomers to London, who forge an unlikely friendship over the course of a hot summer. It has an excellent 95% rating and Meadows is quickly developing a great body of work that includes films like, "This Is England" and "Dead Man's Shoes." He doesn't seem to get his proper due in North America and that seems to be a shame, but his films are extremely humanist and raw (and often harsh in that kitchen-sink English manner).
After that we get "The Way We Get By," about group of senior citizens who gather daily at a small airport to thank American soldiers departing and returning from Iraq. It has a strong 88% RT rating. Lastly we have, "A Woman In Berlin," German director Max Färberböck's tale of women abused during the dying days of WWII. It has a mixed 60% rating, but few have seen it and it only has 6 reviews attached. The Playlist chief liked it quite a bit and especially the manner in which victims and abusers are depicted in symbiotic co-existing, but soul-destroying relationships, but one of our contributors did not.
You're gonna see what you're gonna see. We wont berate you for it, but try and see "Somers Town," if/when you can. It looks great and Meadows needs more recognition. Happy hunting out there and try and stay cool (might we suggest a swim if these movies all seem unappealing).
Update: Potter As Bilbo Baggins? More 'Hobbit' Rumors Surface, But Jackson Says No Announcement At ComicCon
You'll notice we've avoided almost all ComicCon coverage this year so far because next week that nerd-a-thon is going to be inescapable. We figured we'd mitigate that noise as much as we possibly can. Presumably next week they'll be a lot of nerd news and geeks chiming enthusiastic about projects that probably aren't all that good unless you're still deluding yourself into thinking "Watchmen" was decent (which if you are, seek professional help, soon).
Anyhow, on the eve of ComicCon rumors are starting to sprout naturally. Peter Jackson will be making his first appearance to help promote "District 9" (trailer here), and web chatter has it that he's going to reveal some of "The Hobbit" cast and perhaps who's playing Bilbo Baggins.
*Update*: Much like we figured these rumors are incorrect. There will be no 'Hobbit' casting announcement at ComicCon 2009, sorry for those that had high hopes. And all this casting stuff seems way too premature. "We’re starting to think about casting, but we’re knee-deep in the script right now," Peter Jackson told Empire. "And when we do go to actors, they’re probably going to ask to see a script, so we’re powering ahead with getting the first draft done.”
HeroComplex is saying they heard rumors of Daniel Radcliffe (the nerdlinger in the "Harry Potter" series*) taking the Bilbo part as well as David Tennant who plays "Dr. Who" in the U.K. Uhh, none of those two look remotely like a young Ian Holm, especially Radcliffe. Not sure we believe any of this. HeroComplex is fine and all when they score interviews, but haven't neccesarily proven themselves as any scoopsters [ed. is that a word?]. Who knows, it could be true. We're taking it with a grain of sand and you should too.
We're still hoping James McAvoy is on the table, cause we think he looks the part and has proven himself to be an excellent young actor (kid has talent, should hopefully earn himself an Oscar nomination one of these days). They also mention Jack Black's name too. We can't recall hearing that one, but for Bilbo? Not a fucking chance. Tune in next week when ComicCon nerd hysteria hits in full force (but you know tune in everyday n' shit or our moms will think we're fucking wasting our time n' stuff and we've disappointed them enough). A reader reminds us about Michael Sheen ("Frost/Nixon") who has also been discussed as a potential Bilbo and he's a fine, fine choice too.
[*editors note: Never seen a "Harry Potter" film ever. Haven't avoided them on purpose or anything, but yeah, somehow have missed that D&D for kids phenom]
It's so weird that J.J. Abrams' bombastic "Star Trek" reboot gets announced right as geek nirvana is going down in San Diego… Yes… weird…
Anyway, these discs do look pretty stacked (commentaries, documentaries, etc.), which is good. And we're sure that the audio/video component will be so astounding that you'll get angry phone calls from your next-door neighbors to turn that fucking racket down. After the amazing job Paramount did (in conjunction with Criterion) on the stellar 'Benjamin Button' DVD/Blu-ray earlier this year, our hopes are very high for this whizbang space opera.
Of particular note are the deleted scenes on the second disc of the two-disc special edition and Blu-ray releases, which seem to illuminate some stuff that was in the trailers/TV spots and not in the movie, as well as some of the asteroid-sized plot holes that still linger (we loved the movie but there was some downright silliness):
# Spock Birth
# Klingons Take Over Narada
# Young Kirk, Johnny and Uncle Frank
# Amanda and Sarek Argue After Spock Fights
# Prison Interrogation and Breakout
# Sarek Gets Amanda
# Dorm Room and Kobayashi Maru (original version)
# Kirk Apologizes to the Green Girl
# Sarek Sees Spock
We're obviously the most excited about "Kirk Apologizes to the Green Girl." Uhh...
The Blu-ray looks even cooler, with many branching features that explore the movie as well as more reality-based space travel. This bad boy is coming out (again - on both Blu-ray and DVD) on November 17th, so look for it in your stocking along with a pair of rubbery Spock ears. - Drew Taylor
Also: read our 9 Silly Things About J.J. Abrams' 'Star Trek' piece that we love, if only, because it seemed to enrage the shit out of Trekkies.
So much for no ComicCon coverage, but this is too easy. EW has a bunch of first looks, or relative first looks in some cases of films that will make a splash at ComicCon including, "Iron Man 2," (a better look at that Robert Downey Jr./ Tony Stark racing driver suit image), Tim Burton's 3D "Alice In Wonderland," and his produced animated film, "Plan 9," and pics of "Pandorum" starring Dennis Quaid, kid zombies from "Zombieland," "Paper Heart," starring Charlyne Yi and Michael Cera, Park Chan Wook's "Thirst," and the animated "Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs," which will include the voices of Bill Hader, Anna Faris, and Andy Samberg.
ComicCon 2009 kicks of July 22. Go to EW if you want more details on the films we haven't covered here extensively, but "Thirst" hits theaters July 31 and "Paper Heart" comes out August 7. Those are the two we've seen here that we'd recommend the most.
Ahh, the left-field success of "The Hangover." Warner Bros. (who are having a fairly killer year) obviously had an inkling that the Todd Phillips film would do well, they practically green-lit a sequel months before the film hit theaters, but did they ever expect that after almost six weeks of release they'd have grossed $300 million worldwide and $226 million with North America?
Crazy numbers. Now Phillips and the cast (which includes Ed Helms, Bradley Cooper and Zach Galifianakis) essentially have the pick of the litter of projects (and both Galifinakis and Phillips have set up a few, plus there is a 'Hangover 2' eventually) but the director seems to be using his juice to fuel all the various and myriad projects he's had kicking around for the last few years.
His most recent one is called, wait for it... "Staycation." $100 bucks says someone thought, "great buzzword title for a movie, let's write something based off that." According to Variety, Phillips has hired Matt Manfredi and Phil Hay to write the script which not surprisingly doesn't have a logline yet, but it's apparently going to be a "male-laffer." Translation: exactly as we said, "Great title! Write something funny based off this sketch!"
Whatever, more power to him. If anyone can make a half-baked idea seem funny its Phillips and presumably his writers will be channeling his ideas.
Manfredi and Hay wrote Phillips long-gestating project "Man-Witch" (that both Jack Black and Galifinakis passed on) and the trade says the bro-town filmmaker is looking to set up multiple projects with friends ala the Judd Apatow factory. Makes sense and is not a bad idea at all.
On to 'Hangover' star Ed Helms. He's attached himself to star in "Cedar Rapids," a road-trip comedy to be directed by Miguel Arteta ("Chuck & Buck," the upcoming, "Youth In Revolt" with Michael Cera) and produced by Alexander Payne. According to THR, the plot centers on a "wholesome and naive small-town Wisconsin man (Helms), who, when his role model dies, must represent his company at a regional insurance conference in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where his mind is blown by the big-town experience." Apparently it was a script written on spec and the project could land at Fox Searchlight because of Payne's deal there.
Jesus, "Harry Potter & The Half Blood Prince" is doing gangbuster numbers at the box-office.
After its first full day of release (yesterday, July 15), the sixth installment of the wizards n' kids franchise has grossed a whopping $58.4 million in the U.S. according to the trades. The film grossed $22.2 million in midnight screenings alone (yet another broken record).
It's the second-highest Wednesday gross ever, just a tad shy of the the $62 million total that "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" hoovered up in late June (IQ's were also reportedly sucked bone dry as well).
Some are predicting by the end of the weekend, 'Half Blood Prince,' will have grossed $96 million in North America (Nikki Finke says $200 million??, but all of her predictions shoot over by miles -- last week she changed her "Bruno" predix when she said, "$50 million opening??") However, internationally? The film set a world record today, taking in $104 million globally. The highest one-day release total ever. Warner Bros. is fucking ecstatic. Maybe Potter will pay for Zack Snyder's expensive dud earlier this year. 'Potter'-mania is in full force and the film set crazy records in Japan today as well.
Man, the previous film, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," eventually grossed $937 million worldwide. That's nutty money. Your editor never saw 'Half Blood Prince,' but one of the Playlist contribs did and loved it. We keep hearing tons of great word of mouth too. Critical consensus is high as well. The film has an 87% Rotten Tomatoes rating which is nothing to sneeze at either.
Stanley Kubrick Would Either Bankrupt A Studio These Days Or Would Be Shooting Digi If He Was Still Alive
"He definitely has his process. Stanley was creative as long as he thought there was some creativity flowing. I don’t know what he was thinking, but I think if he thought we were tired or he was tired or the crew were tired, he just would say, “OK, let’s do this again tomorrow.” And it could easily be 4 o’clock in the afternoon, and we could have gone for longer. It really did come down to him saying 'Let’s continue' or 'Let’s stop.' " — On the 10th anniversary of Stanley Kubrick's "Eyes Wide Shut," actress Vinessa Shaw reveals it took the notoriously perfectionist director (pfft, move over Michael Mann) a month to shoot her scenes that amounted to about five minutes of screen time. The arduously long kiss she has with Tom Cruise took 69 takes (apparently a "Full Metal Jacket" record was broken).
In 2009, Kubrick would either be breaking the studio piggy bank, shooting on digital or waiting years for someone to finance one of his projects.
Also, Vinessa Shaw is kind of hot. Stanley's parting shot career advice for Shaw which seems to have served her relatively well so far? “Don’t do any dopey films.” Amen, brother. [Movieline]
Judd Apatow and the "Funny People" crew Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen, Leslie Mann and the extended Apatow troupe (Elizabeth Banks, Justin Long, etc.) are into viral videos. We get it.
There's already been panoply of fake meta-movie trailers for Sandler's dying comedian George Sanders character (a bunch of them outlined here) and now another has arrived — the "Splash" like "MerMan" which co-stars Elizabeth Banks.
It's not entirely gut-busting funny, but then again, none of the "Funny People," viral clips have been out of the park. Hopefully the movie is much more significant and we're betting it is. Maybe Universal is using all these fairly silly gags to try and hide the fact that the film is actually fairly dramatic and melancholy. Or at least, that's our wish, because we hope Apatow comes at us with his best James L. Brook bittersweet tone.
We'll see. We're still excited even if we find Raaaaaaandy fairly predictable and unfunny. "Funny People" hits July 31, but we'll be seeing it early on July 22 during a Museum of the Moving Image special presentation in
Queens, New York Manhattan which is open to the public. The price is bit steep, but Apatow will be there in person for a Q&A. Get your tix while they're hot. We have ours. Here's that "Merman" trailer. [George Simmons.com]
Update: We also found a Adam Sandler stand-up featurette over at Trailer Addict and that's emebeded below too.
Make It Happen: Someone Greenlight The Carol Channing Biopic So Johnny Depp Will Get His Desperate Wish Already
Jesus, we saw this Johnny Depp quote today at Vulture and thought, "Christ, again??" Depp is obsessed with Carol Channing.
"My dream role would be to play music legend Carol Channing in a biopic of her life. I love her, I really do. She's amazing. With all the digital technology these days, I could probably pull it off." Depp told the U.K. Mirror recently.
The singer and actress with the crazy, oft-imitated gravely voice was known for her work in Broadway musicals like, "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, "Hello, Dolly!" (obviously she didn't make the cut for the film versions). On the screen she's known for playing Jackie Gleason's bohemian wife in the LSD-soaked Otto Preminger bizarro comedy "Skidoo" and she earned an Oscar-nominated for her turn in "Thoroughly Modern Millie" with Julie Andrews as screwball heiress. She was also such an odd figure she was given an cameo in the 1968 "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" film for some reason. Some will also remember her big, brassy TV specials from the '60s that would showcase her large personality with singing, dancing, revue, etc. Her voice and personality are also often satirized by the likes of Robin Williams and the sort.
Anywho, we swear this is like the fourth or fifth time on different press cycles we've heard Johnny Depp say this, usually apropos of nothing too.
On June 1, 2009, press cycle for "Public Enemies," he says again, "I would like to play Carol Channing next. I do like Carol Channing, I really do."
During the press cycle for "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," many had noted that Depp's creepy, Queenie and perverted performance had shades of Carol Channing and despite many thinking he was channeling Micheal Jackson, he essentially admitted his Channing obsession in TV interviews (sorry, no link from our brains). Blog post going as far back as 2004 also point out the similarities (as did many publications like the Chicago SunTimes).
In the 2005 Golden Globes, Depp "joked" about wanting to portray Carol Channing at some point.
Looking around Google for quotes today is mostly pointless as all you come up with is a shit-ton of quotes from this month, but we feel like the guy's been quietly campaigning for this role for years now (seriously, we wish we had the quote evidence, but we bet if you looked hard enough you would find quotes from every film press cycle he's been on since 2004).
Disney? He made you guys extra rich with the "Pirates" series, how about giving the guy a break and letting live out his fantasy already?
Here's some Carol Channing from the 1985 TV movie of "Alice in Wonderland." Depp seems to love hammy, preening characters of late ("Pirates of the Caribbean," "Charlie and The Chocolate Factory," "Once Upon a Time in Mexico"), so this is probably perfect. Hollywood take note: this is a more interesting idea than anything you've thought of in years.
Here's your first look at Mark Wahlberg and Melissa Leo on the set of David O. Russell's boxing picture, "The Fighter." Back in the day, the film was once set to star Brad Pitt and Matt Damon and to be directed by Darren Aronofsky who developed the picture for years before leaving it earlier this year.
Obviously, there's more pictures of Christian Bale too who looks slightly less cracked-out than the last set of photos that were revealed. Wahlberg looks appropriately buff, he's been training for the film, on and off for two years.
The film centers on the lives and boxing careers of half-brothers 'Irish' Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg) a junior welterweight boxing legend from Massachusetts and Dickie Eklund (Bale)— who becomes his brother's trainer and mentor after his career went off track thanks to a debilitating drug addiction. Leo plays there mother. No look at Amy Adams or Alison Folland yet, both also star in the film. [JustJared/ComingSoon]
Update: here's an interesting DigitalSpy interview with Melissa Leo. She says O. Russell helped bring the budget down presumably changing the script in doing so. "I think [O.Russell directing the picture is] a major blessing on the film. David has worked and worked to hone this script from a 30-year story to a much less expensive to shoot three-year tale that is just all the history of them and the very complicated story of this extraordinary boxing talent. That mind of his is awesome to watch at work and he does shoot in a very [chaotic] way, you have to work very hard to stay with David, but the key to success is to trust that man, he knows what he's doing."
Is he as nuts as rumored? "I don't think it's volatility," she said. "It's an absolute, utter commitment to it. Filmmaking is about having a very, very clear and tidy blueprint that you can turn 180 degrees and still make it work. David is constantly flipping it 180 and that can indeed be frustrating. It's much easier to walk a very clear, clean path, but I think it makes it a much more interesting film if you can go with your captain! These are rough seas, we're shooting boxing matches with seven cameras going! It's just a question of being able to keep up with him."
Sounds like a typical David O. Russell shoot. Chaos and changes on the fly, but it's really just the way how crew and actors adapt to it. Some fly off the handle at changes (Lily Tomlin), others, perhaps knowing now what they're getting into, can probably hang with it a little better, but obviously people do get frustrated with this style. 2010? Surely. Oscar season 2010? Who knows, stay tuned, but this is just the beginning.
Bad, bad news for Wong Kar-Wai fans eagerly anticipating what feels like a major creative detour from the Hong-Kong filmmaker.
Kar-Wai, the slow-moving director behind such stylish and expressionistic masterpieces as "In The Mood For Love," "Chunking Express" and "Days Of Being Wild" (the latter being a personal favorite), may have directed the wuxia/martial arts heavy, "Ashes of Time," but is generally recognized for his slow-burning and moody unrequited romance pictures. But maybe the dud that was his first American-language film, "My Blueberry Nights," with Nora Jones and Jude Law convinced the director to switch gears a little bit.
Early this year, he announced a picture not many were expecting: "The Grand Master," a biopic of Ip Man, the first Chinese man to teach the martial art of Wing Chun openly, training many major level students, including Bruce Lee. Longtime Kar-Wai acting mainstay, Tony Leung Chiu-wai was set to play the lead role.
However, there was a recent accident in preparations for the film. Leung Chiu-Wai's arm was broken by a martial arts trainer during rehearsal for his latest role in the martial arts biopic. They apparently aren't fucking around when it comes to the training. Shooting was originally slated to begin in September though that is now in jeopardy after the actor broke a bone in his left forearm. According to the AP, Leung must rest his arm for several weeks but can continue to train on his kicks.
However, Kar-Wai moves slow enough as it is and takes his sweet-ass time in the editing room. Hopefully Leung Chiu-Wai heals on time, because it's conceivable, even if it shoots in the fall, the film won't be ready for release until late 2010 or even 2011. We definitely welcome the return of this Cannes-winning director though. [Guardian]
Sigh...Wooden actress Kate Bosworth and Alexander Skarsgard have joined the James Marsden led, Rod Lurie-directed remake of Sam Peckinpah's "Straw Dogs."
Marsden plays the role made famous by Dustin Hoffman in the original — a Hollywood screenwriter who relocates with his wife (Susan George in the original) to her hometown, transposed from idyllic British countryside to Mississippi for the remake.
Bosworth will play his wife who postpones her L.A. actress aspirations to return home for her husband while Skarsgard plays her high school boyfriend, an ex-football hero who sees the return of his former girlfriend as a way to reclaim glory.
Lurie, who last helmed, "Nothing But The Truth,' wrote the screenplay and will direct. How James Marsden can compensate or hope to live up to Dustin Hoffman's performance is a mystery. Remake mediocre movies with a great premise gone wrong. Why remake a perfect film, with a milquetoast cast? We'll never understand moves like this. This thing is scheduled to shoot in August. [Variety/ photo from Firstshowing, who did a much better job than we did]